HAZARDOUS SPRING WEATHER PART I
DRIVING IN THE RAIN
We know that in the winter, snow and ice can create hazardous driving conditions and lead to accidents. But we often don’t think about the fact that spring weather can create hazardous driving conditions as well—especially here in Texas! Wind on open streets and overpasses can make cars hard to handle. Torrential rain can make it difficult, if not impossible, to see. Lightning storms can be distracting and take our focus away from the road ahead. Hail storms can be extremely dangerous damaging windshields and making the streets slippery. And of course, spring is tornado season—the most dangerous type of storm we can face.
But even light rain can pose a hazard on our North Texas roads. Everyone who has ever driven here knows that our roads don’t need a coating of ice or snow to be dangerously slick. Even though they are paved with asphalt which creates a rough surface for tires to grab, moisture fills the pits and grooves on our roads thus making them smoother. Smoother surfaces equal less grab and less driver control. In addition, when rain mixes with oils and greases on our roads, they become even more slippery.
Do you know the things to do to make driving in the rain safer here in Texas?
- First, it’s important to drive on good quality tires. At least once a month, check your tires for proper air pressure (based on the information provided on your tires) and tread—which needs to be at least 1/16 of an inch.
- Second, slow down! Slower speeds equal better contact with the road.
- Third, keep a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. Slick roads can increase stopping distances by as much as three times. Thus, it’s best to stay at least two car lengths behind the next closest car.
- Fourth, in a skid, know how to use the brakes properly. Never slam on or pump the brakes. Rather, apply steady, firm pressure to them and steer toward the skid. If you end up in a full hydroplane, first remove your foot form the gas, grip the steering wheel, and apply light brake pressure.
- Fifth, don’t forget about the dangers of flooding on some of our streets. If you see standing water on the road and are not sure how deep it is, drive around. Otherwise, you could end up a drowning victim.
At Accident and Injury Chiropractic, we want you to be safe on our roads no matter what the driving conditions. That’s why we try to provide you with information that may keep you out of an accident. But if you do end up in an accident, check out the Accident and Injury clinic near you. And check out our next blog with tips on driving safely in spring weather.